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Archive for Monday, February 18, 2008

Nobody is better in this ‘entertainment’

February 18, 2008

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Too bad the strike didn't end soon enough to prevent "My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad" (8 p.m., NBC). Dan Cortese hosts this contest between dads and their kids.

In an earlier, kinder TV era, this is something that Nickelodeon might have broadcast at 3 p.m. Its prime-time slot speaks volumes about NBC, where, we are reminded on an almost nightly basis, "My network is worse than your network."

¢ Unless, of course, it's the CW, the blended network (remember the WB and UPN?) that has never made much sense to anybody.

In a surprising move, the network announced last week that it is parting ways with its Friday-night wrestling "SmackDown!" show. While I can't say I'll miss it, "SmackDown!" was a consistent winner for UPN and their second-most-popular show (after "Top Model").

Tonight, the CW announces a spin-off of one of the most-loathed programs of 2007. "Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious" (8 p.m., CW), a 10-episode talent contest/elimination to determine the membership of a new girl group.

Robin Antin, the founder of the Dolls, is the judge and taskmaster here. She has the harsh, doomed look of a woman who has dedicated her life to luring preteens into the sleazy demimonde of burlesque entertainment.

As if the whole Pussycat thing weren't hateful enough, "Girlicious" sets about pushing buttons right away, all the better to enrage, horrify or shame the parents still in the room. One Girlicious wannabe gushes that she's more into Girliciousness than Boyliciousness, and it takes her mother a while to get used to that notion. Another brags that she has tattoos of cherries located near her genitals and invites the rest of the gang to take a peek. They do.

¢ "American Experience" (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings) profiles Kit Carson, a larger-than-life icon in the Old West who helped settle, civilize and "ruin" the wilderness he adored. A mass of contradictions, he was well versed in Indian lore and knew the nuanced differences between tribes and yet became best known for clearing the Navajos off their land in a brutal military campaign. He was popularized in dime novels during his lifetime, a fact that was lost on Carson because he couldn't read.

¢ The three-hour oral history "Inside the Vietnam War" (7 p.m., National Geographic) offers a battle-by-battle look at the American military experience in Vietnam. Rich in historical footage, it recounts stories of men who fought and survived.

But "Inside" offers no strategic overview of the conflict, so viewers have very little idea of exactly why the war was fought in the first place. Some of the more embittered veterans contend that since every battle had been won, the war could have been won, too. Others make the case that "victory" was never defined and, therefore, never really in grasp. One veteran sums up a lot when describing his fear for his life and his respect for the tenacity of his Vietnamese adversary: "After all, I was in his backyard, not mine."

Tonight's other highlights

¢ Revolving-door justice on "Prison Break" (7 p.m., Fox).

¢ The contestants for the next "Dancing with the Stars" are announced on "Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann" (7 p.m., ABC).

¢ Memories of battles to come on "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (8 p.m., Fox).

¢ Laura goes into details on "In Treatment" (8:30 p.m., HBO).

¢ The morgue misplaces the cadaver of a popular jock on "CSI: Miami" (9 p.m., CBS).

¢ Alison loses her hearing on "Medium" (9 p.m., NBC).

¢ Anthony Bourdain samples the cuisine of Jamaica on "No Reservations" (9 p.m., Travel).

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